Today I am welcoming Maison Levot as a guest contributor. Maison a midwifery and nursing student, has put together tips for you and your children when going through separation. Maison has experienced separation early in her childhood and again as a 21 year old. Over to Maison.
This is a list for the kids. A list of things not to be afraid to say to your parents during a divorce. Parents, read it, understand it. This separation is just as real for your children as it is for you.
Parent Tip – Don’t be offended when your kids insinuate this. There is a big difference between your kid feeling torn between the two people they love the most in the world, and you manipulating them to feel a certain way. Most of the time they are only trying to keep the both of you happy, so make sure you listen.
Feel free to shout this from the rooftops! Is it just me, or does every person who finds out your parents are separation come up to you, stroke you on the head and in a really fake sympathetic voice say ‘don’t worry, everything will be okay.’ You quietly say ‘thanks’ but in your head your like ‘Pffttt what do you know?!?!’ FEELS.
Parent Tip – Try ‘things will get better’ ‘we will get through this as a family’ ‘Im here for you’
Parent Tip – Let’s be real. You are probably having a meltdown every day and this is totally okay. But don’t be hesitant to show your kids some emotion. Its important they learn that some days are rough, but other days are a little brighter.
Parent Tip – If your child tells you they feel upset by something you have done, please accept it. Put away your bruised ego and listen to why they feel that way. Those words will hurt, but in order for your child to continue to feel safe; it is important they feel you have acknowledged and unpacked that feeling with them, not at them.
Parent Tip – I know you want to protect your children from ALL the ugly parts. BUT! I can almost guarantee that your child (especially if older) is going to be spiralling a myriad of ‘what ifs’ in their mind. What if it was my fault? What if mum found someone else? What if dad moves away? Whilst there are some parts of your story they probably don’t need to know, give them a version that will put their busy mind at ease. Your experience does not need to become theirs too.
Parent Tip – Your kids are still kids! Yes you might not have seen them for three days but if they want to go for a milkshake with their best friend then let them! The social aspect of their life is probably the only normal/stable thing happening right now. Don’t take that away from them.
Please reach out on the email if you need help, I am here for you.